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Firehawk 1500 reviews

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I'm expecting my 1500 in the mail today! Any tips on what to expect/look out for? Tips for day 1?! FBV3 getting delivered tomorrow. Pumped. I want to hear any and all feedback from those who've had this amp for the last few months. Thanks!

 

Install the app on your phone or tablet now; I didn't and wish I had! Makes navigating the volumes, global EQ, speaker modes a total breeze. Also, a quick note on the firmware - it alters how the monitor input is handled, so depending on how you want to use that input will determine if you upgrade the firmware or not. 

 

-Stock firmware routes the monitor input to the XLR output.

 

-Current firmware updates changes that so it does not send the monitor input signal to the XLR output.

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ColonelForbin. Thanks for the reply! Can you explain to me the monitor input routing you mentioned? I do plan on connecting the amp directly to the front of house board via xlr. If I update the firmware will this effect that? Thanks

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Install the app on your phone or tablet now; I didn't and wish I had! Makes navigating the volumes, global EQ, speaker modes a total breeze. Also, a quick note on the firmware - it alters how the monitor input is handled, so depending on how you want to use that input will determine if you upgrade the firmware or not. 

 

-Stock firmware routes the monitor input to the XLR output.

 

-Current firmware updates changes that so it does not send the monitor input signal to the XLR output.

 

 

Are sure you don't have that reversed?  I thought the new firmware sent the monitor inputs back to FOH, and thus would create a loop issue if one was using the monitor ins for a vocal aux feed from the board.  Because of this, I did not update my firmware and left it stock.  In doing so, I was able to send the xlr outs to FOH, and I was able to use the monitor input (i only used the left one, thus mono) to hear my vocals from the aux feed.  It worked like a champ, with no loop feedback issues.  

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Are sure you don't have that reversed?  I thought the new firmware sent the monitor inputs back to FOH, and thus would create a loop issue if one was using the monitor ins for a vocal aux feed from the board.  Because of this, I did not update my firmware and left it stock.  In doing so, I was able to send the xlr outs to FOH, and I was able to use the monitor input (i only used the left one, thus mono) to hear my vocals from the aux feed.  It worked like a champ, with no loop feedback issues.  

 

The new firmware update prevents the monitor inputs from being sent back to FOH; though I don't know which firmware they are shipping new units with now?

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/18396-firehawk-1500-reviews/?p=141743

 

ArneLine6, on 07 Mar 2016 - 12:39 PM, said:snapback.png

Great! Please make sure you have updated the firmware (http://line6.com/software/ -> software-> line6 updater) because we have just changed the audio routing so that the Monitor Inputs do not go to the Main Outs to prevent a feedback loop with a mixing console.

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The new firmware update prevents the monitor inputs from being sent back to FOH; though I don't know which firmware they are shipping new units with now?

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/18396-firehawk-1500-reviews/?p=141743

 

ArneLine6, on 07 Mar 2016 - 12:39 PM, said:snapback.png

 

Excellent!  I'm going to update it tonight.  If I'm not mistaken I believe it's on version 1.0.  I'll figure it out tonight and report back to you guys.

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ColonelForbin. Thanks for the reply! Can you explain to me the monitor input routing you mentioned? I do plan on connecting the amp directly to the front of house board via xlr. If I update the firmware will this effect that? Thanks

 

It only impacts use of the monitor inputs and how they are routed to the XLR outputs; and might correct some other issues - they said it might make it capable of being louder! I have been primarily using mine as a powered speaker for my Helix, and not using the Firehawk modeling / FX. In my case, I want the monitor input (Helix) to be routed to the XLR outputs. If you were just using the FH1500 as amp/fx modeling, and wanted to run a monitor signal back from the board to the FH1500, say for vocals, you would want to update to the latest firmware, which would prevent the monitor vocal signal from being sent into the XLR outputs - you would only want your guitar signal coming out of the XLR outputs in that case. Which does make sense - it's more than loud enough to be a monitor, and with the kick back stand it tilts back nicely for that use.

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Having the FH1500 on stage got everyone's attention at band practice last night. Really need to dial in the XLR outs to get beat sound. Lost connection for some but not all ones from my iPad. Had to unplug it and plug it in again. It's a darn computer!

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BobbyzumBerge. So did it get everyone's attention in a good way? What style music? Was it loud enough with a full band? Thanks

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BobbyzumBerge. So did it get everyone's attention in a good way? What style music? Was it loud enough with a full band? Thanks

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It got my sound guys attention since we couldn't get the XLR out to sound right, he insists on mixing the FH1500 with S57 or similar   .   Went straight to just FH1500 sound, no xlr, no mic full band sound.  I was definitely loud enough but will want to get signal out to PA one way or another.  The attention I got from my other band mates was quizzical .  When we started playing "Born on the Bayou" I had the tone ready to go, sounded great and they wondered how the heck I got that, then switch to a blues tone etc.  I like it, got a $15 dolly at the tool store (next to my local guitar Center) ;) so moving the amp around isn't so bad, lifting it is ok until I get too old for that.  Looking forward to refining by tones and downloading more from the cloud.  Got some great Petty sounds and Jerry Garcia sounds.  We mix it up with a variety of Dead, blues and country rock stuff.  I am hoping the next patch fixes the issue where some of the tones show on the iPad and amp but nothing is there, have to reboot.  that is a bug for sure

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It got my sound guys attention since we couldn't get the XLR out to sound right, he insists on mixing the FH1500 with S57 or similar   .   Went straight to just FH1500 sound, no xlr, no mic full band sound.  I was definitely loud enough but will want to get signal out to PA one way or another.  The attention I got from my other band mates was quizzical .  When we started playing "Born on the Bayou" I had the tone ready to go, sounded great and they wondered how the heck I got that, then switch to a blues tone etc.  I like it, got a $15 dolly at the tool store (next to my local guitar Center) ;) so moving the amp around isn't so bad, lifting it is ok until I get too old for that.  Looking forward to refining by tones and downloading more from the cloud.  Got some great Petty sounds and Jerry Garcia sounds.  We mix it up with a variety of Dead, blues and country rock stuff.  I am hoping the next patch fixes the issue where some of the tones show on the iPad and amp but nothing is there, have to reboot.  that is a bug for sure

 

So bobbyzumberge it sounds like we play similar style covers. I have been playing around with the 1500 and the FOH pa and it seems like it could be possible that your sound guy is trying to get too fancy with shaping the firehawks tone...tell him to be as neutral as possible with the eq and effects. I at first sounded like crap through the PA only to find out that reverb was added to my stereo channels and was destroying my tone. Im curious what the names of the petty tones that you have found?

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Can anyone talk about the amp on a low volume setting? This will be my rehearsal amp at home AND with the band and I live in an apartment so I have to keep it quiet and I don't want to be tethered by headphones. Thanks!

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Can anyone talk about the amp on a low volume setting? This will be my rehearsal amp at home AND with the band and I live in an apartment so I have to keep it quiet and I don't want to be tethered by headphones. Thanks!

Hi,

I have tested it at various levels and it behaves well on all.

The tone stays almost (~95% for me) the same.

Up to 50% the volume is incremented in small steps and only then it gets really loud.

I also used it late in the evening and my neighbours did not

file any complaints - I live in an apartment, and the walls are anything but soundproof...

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Hi,

I have tested it at various levels and it behaves well on all.

The tone stays almost (~95% for me) the same.

Up to 50% the volume is incremented in small steps and only then it gets really loud.

I also used it late in the evening and my neighbours did not

file any complaints - I live in an apartment, and the walls are anything but soundproof...

 

 

Sweet.  Thanks a ton for the feedback.  I'm still seriously considering this all in one option.  Haven't quite been able to fully commit to letting go of all of the other gear I've collected, lol.  But I'm almost there.  I just need a really good couple of YouTube videos to show it off.  Actually demo-ing it will be difficult because the closest L6 dealer is over 200 miles away.

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:-). Just one note.

While FH 1500 can do a lot, it is not a 100% replacement for "real" hardware. At least I have not been able to set it up in so well yet - only two weeks of toying..

Because of that I have decided to have basically 3 sets of gear, where an end2end modelling set (L6 Variax Standard + FH1500 + FBV3) is the " universal" one.

I also gave a "light" set and an "all tube stage" one.

Of course, your mileage may vary...

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:-). Just one note.

While FH 1500 can do a lot, it is not a 100% replacement for "real" hardware. At least I have not been able to set it up in so well yet - only two weeks of toying..

Because of that I have decided to have basically 3 sets of gear, where an end2end modelling set (L6 Variax Standard + FH1500 + FBV3) is the " universal" one.

I also gave a "light" set and an "all tube stage" one.

Of course, your mileage may vary...

 

You're right about all of it, but I don't gig anymore.  I'm a stay at home dad that loves to play and have good tone while doing so.  I love my stage rig, but it's just too much now.  I figure that the 1500 can do everything I need it to (although I wish the FX modeling was the same as the HD500x) and not take up a ton of space like my gear now does.  Also, the digital component means that my kids can't just walk by and tweak the dials the screw everything up as long as I have my presets saved to the cloud.  I only have two things that I need to know that I can't read about...1) Is it good at low volumes? (which you have answered for me) and 2) Is the tone, overall, good? (which I'll probably have to find a way to demo to be sure)  

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Just an FYI...I received my new FH1500, and I'd suggest everyone take a screwdriver to all of the screws...most of them took a half turn, and several took even more. Probably good to tighten thing up!

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PSA: The Naperville (Aurora) GC has a minty used one for $699 as of yesterday. I tried it out and was quite impressed by the low-volume tone - very full (although I guess the cab size and amount of speakers has something to do with it  :P ). Sounded REALLY good with a Strat...

 

I'm going to be keeping my eye on this, although I really don't need the full firepower for my purposes. I would really like to see L6 release a bridge model somewhere between the 1500 and the Amplifi 150 - Firehawk 750, perhaps? Maybe slightly smaller, lighter, with the HD sims that the 150 doesn't have.

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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

Since these amps have FRFR speakers, you wouldn't want to mic them. Same with a Kemper going to a FRFR speaker. You would just send the signal from the Kemper to your recording set up, and not mic the speaker....The cab tone is part of the simulation. FRFR speakers shouldn't have a tone themselves, or at least that is the idea.

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Two gigs done on the FH1500. Here are my observations...

 

The setup:

 

Stereo out to P.A.

FH is on the floor in front of me facing me like a floor monitor.

FBV 3 with an additional exp pedal.

iPad is mounted on my mic stand.

 

Variax JTV 69 SSH via VDI

2nd guitar via Relay G70 (not a single drop out BTW)

 

 

The Sound:

 

Very impressive!

I typically use 1 patch per song. So any lead work I do is me turning on a distortion pedal in the patch.

I also typically use 1 amp for all songs and use different fx (delays, modulation, reverbs)

 

FOH:

The reverbs and the delays sound really full and convincing. Distortions sound really good. Again, very impressive.

 

The wha is a little off to me. I think it I can make it useable by playing with the mix. We'll see on the next gig.

 

Overall, I'm really enjoying the amp. With the iPad close by, it gives me the ability to tweak my tones as needed on the fly. You can't do that with the POD HD's

 

No negative QC issues. Turn it on and it works every time. The app connects without issue.

I really like the simplicity of it all. I am tweaking far less than I did with the POD. Which means I'm playing guitar way more!

 

So far, there is nothing I can't achieve with this set up.

 

Very exciting!

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Hi...

 

I just returned my Amplifi 150 because it was too slow to switch between patches using the shortboard MKII and even slower when the app via Bluetooth was used.

 

As has been your experience using the Shortboard MKII with the last update and the Firehawk 1500 with the last update fireware also, Line6 have corrected errors latency patch change? You feel you have good response: instant change? Using the footswicth MKII ?

 

The application via Bluetooth is more stable??

 

I appreciate your based on your experiecia especially live comments.

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Question about adding pedal sounds: how do I add something like a distortion that can run alongside an OD or screamer? I see the stompbox button, but can you add another so you can have multiple options found in that setting?

 

Thanks.

Kevin

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Question about adding pedal sounds: how do I add something like a distortion that can run alongside an OD or screamer? I see the stompbox button, but can you add another so you can have multiple options found in that setting?

 

Thanks.

Kevin

You can use one of the other assignable FX blocks as a distortion rather than a mod or delay. Select an existing mod or delay and change its type to distortion then select a model.

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How do I switch the mod to distortion...I don't see where anything other than flangers, phasers, etc. are options. Thanks a ton for the help.

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Using the app, when you select the mod FX there should be a button at the top left of the frame that's either text (saying 'Type') or maybe it's just an icon. It's immediately to the left of the FX name. Hit that and you should be able to change the FX from a Mod to another type.

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Another question. Aside from uploading each sound from the Firehawk and then downloading it to another bank, is there a simple way to reorder sounds?

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I had the 1500 for a while, so I think it's time for me to chime in. After deleting the fire hawk app from my phone, and reinstalling it,

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I had the 1500 for a while, so I think it's time for me to chime in. After deleting the fire hawk app from my phone, and reinstalling it, and updating the Firehawk , things are running fine!

 

I just acquired the FBV3 and updated that...and I'll let y'all know how that works later... I love the versatility .... I was using the old FVB shortboard with it until some updates rendered it kaput...at least with the Firehawk , I used it on a straight ahead jazz gig and had fun with the " floor, stereo, wide" thing...

 

Looking forward to sharing my thoughts on these things with y'all here as I go along.

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Before anyone asks: No, I haven't tried this with a Helix. I can't afford one.

 

I've been impressed with Line 6's products over the past 16 years ever since I bought a POD 2.0 kidney bean back in 2000 (ish). I'm  now limited in terms of storage space - my houe has been taken over by an influx of children over the past 8 years, so this presented an excellent all-in on package. I already had a MKII FBV Shortboard and an iPhone so this seemed a great way of reducing clutter and an ever increasing smorgasboard of pedals and cables. This amp was also advertised as being usable with acoustic and bass guitars - too good to be true? We'll see.

 

I also have a POD HD Pro X so my initial thinking was to use the FH1500 as an accompanying amplifier for playing live. However the FH1500 sounds better with its oboard modelling than as an external amplifier for the POD HD X. However, the latter is probably better for recording into a DAW and supports multiple signal paths with more processsing power, but it's a close run thing.

 

I've spent time practicing, playing and recording with the FH1500 and can now offer some insights - good and bad for this amp.

The first thing anyone notices about this amp is that it's big. Not far off the dimensions of a Vox AC30 it is also somewhat weighty - lugging in at an arm-stretching 30kg. The top panel is minimalisic with a small matrix display, a bluetooth pairing button, delay-tap, a 'command' button, a huge volume knob and smaller knobs for controlling drive, tone, reverb and FX levels. People familiar with the Amplifi range of products will be at home. On the back there are enough connections to keep just about everybody happy: Footswitch (either the PBV MKII or the FBV3), XLR in (with level control), XLR out, headphones, USB connection, MIDI in / out / through.

 

The front panel is held on with velcro and comes off quite easily (sometimes too easily) to reveal two 4" 2-way and one 12" drivers and a 8" horn - this gives you a total of 6 speakers. On mine I noticed that the finish of the front baffle was - there's no other word for it - "shoddy" considering the £750 I payed for this. The paint work was patchy and a sliver of wood was missing from one corner.

 

The tolex finish seems tough, but even some mild manhandling into the back of a Volvo XC90 caused a disconcerting amount of marking. The corners are unprotected, but I've bought some chromed corner covers to protect them from now on.

 

The pre-programmed sounds are OK. Nothing special, but a good basis to build on. There are plenty of tweaking options via the app (more about that later), but no MacOS or Windows based editing tools. Trying to tweak parameters using the top panel, or floorboard needs a lot of patience. I gave up - (and I have a higher degree in Computer Science). However, the thing that impressed me immediately was the clarity of the sound. Without headphones this goes from 'child sleeping in the next room' friendly to loud. And I mean loud. I've played this in a church reknown for swallowing amplified sounds - and it filled the place - with very little difference in the quality - other than the bass seems to increase as the 12" gets to flex more at higher volume levels and it sounding more 'alive'. Got a loud drummer? no problem.

 

One option you have with this is to use it a a monitor / amp combo. Plug in, select your tone. Then send the output to an external mixing desk - they can do what they want with it. You can then take a stereo monitor feed from the desk back to the amp to act as a personal foldback (just remember to leave out your guitar in the returned feed). In this respect it is a very clever bit of kit. A trim knob allows you to balance it up. That way you get your own personal mix with you at exatcly the right level.

 

The main volume knob has three modes which are selected by successive presses. The first controls the overall output from the power amp, the second the output from the modelling engine in to the power amp and the last the level of the currently selected patch. So there is a fair amount of control over balancing things up to your personal situation. The sound engine can also be tweaked depending on whether the amp is free standing, on the floor or against a wall. You also have mono / stereo / wide-stereo options with a global EQ.

Some of the amp models are very responsive to the use of the tone control. This surprised me as older Line6 technology seemed to compress the input signal too much. Backing off the volume just sounded dreadful - if it did anything. One of my favorite models is the HD Plexi with the Bright Channel. This responds really well to the guitar's volume control going from semi-clean through crunchy to glorious overdrive. I could probably do an entire gig on one patch if there were enough effect combinations possible. Some of the models are less responsive, but it's a case of finding what works for you.

 

One of the more elusive tones I've tried to emulate over the years is the Van Halen 'Balance' sound - think 'Amsterdam'. I essentially got 'very close' with the POD HD X, but even closer with this (you could probably nail it with the Helix, but life's too short). This gives you proper Wet/Dry/Wet output with stereo chorus substituting for Eddie's eventide harmonizers.

Overall the amp models are good and are drawn from the HD and old 'XT' (and maybe earlier) models. However, some of the older models still sound better that their HD counterparts - something that surprised me. There are models that I will never use - from old retro classics to modern high-gain beasts. Most of the HD amp models are there, but HD effects seem to be a little thin on the ground limited to Delay and Reverb and a few others scattered about. If you are after pitch-shifting then you're limited to the 'Bender' which stutters in my experience - the HD Pitch Glide would be a welcome addition in a future update.

So as a usable amplifier it seems on the face of it to do everything that you could expect - and a whole lot more. However, if you are used to a valve amp and floor full of pedals, this is a radical departure from your comfort zone.

 

The best way to interact with the individual patches is via an external App (iOS or Android) which you connect via BlueTooth. This gives you access to the configuration of the FH1500 at system and patch level and is where things start to get a little more interesting.

 

The App lets you create a virtual signal chain consisting of an amp-cab-mic arrangement and then slotting in effects either before or after the amp. These include volume, wah, stomp boxes, delays, reverbs, loopers, compressors and all sorts of stuff. You can tweak just about every parameter (using virtual sliders) even down to the power-sag of the amplifier transformer - if you want to. The number of potential combinations is possibly incalculable. Tweaking a parameter in the editor immediately sets that parameter on the amp so you are always hearing what you are editing. you can then store that patch away / rename it. The first couple of times you do this the 'Are You Sure' screens don't intrude too much, but after a while you just want a 'Save-And-Don't-Ask-Any-Questions-Button' I'm grown up, I have a backup - JUST GET ON WITH IT! That is the major issue I have with the App interface, one minor niggle is that if you want a precise setting on one of the sliders, it can be difficult to achieve on a phone.

 

Occasionally, the pairing between amp and device seems to drop out inexplicably, but so far I've blamed it on sun-spot activity.

 

The app also allows you to jam along to tracks on your phone, and will even suggest patches that reside on the Line6 servers to match the tone of the song you are playing. This is where the headphone socket comes in useful. However, I noticed that the output was in mono - even when 'wide' stereo effects were in use. I discovered that insering an XLR jack into one of the stage out sockets cured the problem. Great. But this is where the doubts started to creep in.

 

On something that cost this much (relativle to monthly income) an oversight by the manufacturer in checking the headphone output on a stereo amp seems unthinkable. The solution to this problem is a 'hardware' fix which makes me think that unless this is a software issue in detecting the presence of an output - this may never get fixed unless the hardware is revised.

 

Then there's the looper. Oh boy...

 

Considering you'll probably be using this with an external floor board (the looper cannot be used without one) then why can't it work in the same way as the HD series where multiple buttons can be used to record / erase / overdub / stop / start? The single button function is awful and really lets this down. Why is this a problem? 1) As soon as you have recorded a loop - you seem to be straight into overdub mode, 2) to erase a loop you have to start playing it first and then hold the button to erase. Ugh.

 

You could use an external stereo looper in the stereo effects loop (forgot to mention that earlier), but that's going away from the ethos of having an amp like this. After re-reading the manual

 

I noticed a MIDI-implementation chart covering the parameters for looper-control. So, I dusted off my trusty old Behribger FB1010 and a couple of MIDI cables intending to assign looper fucntions to individul buttons - to no avail. The FH1500 seems to respond to program-change messages only.

Now the doubts are starting to grow. An incomplete MIDI implementation is another oversight like the headphones and is starting to make me feel this thing isn't quite finished.

Have I returned it ? No. Why? because it's a solid bit of kit that sounds great and I can live with the issues, but I am disappointed that I found them in a product at this price-point and in areas where you would have thought technology was well developed.

 

So I've covered practising and playing live. What about recording? It's simple. I use Garage Band on a Mac which is essentially "ProTools for Dummies". As long as you don't set the output too high it works like a charm. You could Mic it up in a studio, but where's the fun in that? It sounds great with acoustic and bass guitars - there are amp models for them too. If you are looking at a Bl*******r BEAM, but want somethig you can gig too, then this just might be your baby. If all else faily you can use it as a PA. 1500 Watts is enought for anyone. Right?

 

Conclusions:

Overall this is an amazing bit of kit, and I would recommend it to anyone who is comfortable with the idea of Amp modelling and want to perform live at a reasonable price-point. However, in some areas it feels as though this is a rushed-to-market product. There are niggles and oversights that would have been resolved it more time were taken field testing with the target customer group. Many of these issues can probably be sorted via future software updates (there have been a few already), but my main concern is that some may be hardware-related and therefore unfixable outright. I may be wrong.

 

Summary:

 

Pros

1500 Watt FRFR sound system

Wet / Dry / Wet output

Excellent range of amp models and effects

Sounds awesome

Can be used as a monitor / mixer

Bluetooth programming and streaming

External app control

looks good

 

Cons

Heavy

Headphone output not stereo unless someting plugged into the XLR outs

Occasianally no tone on turning on. Normally fixed by inserting and then removing the headphone jack.

Looper overly complex / oversimplified.

Build quality is a little disappointing (on mine anyway)

Programming complex without bluetooth app.

Lack of external MIDI support 

No obvious Quick Save facility

No MacOS / Windows editing capability via USB

Tuner is 440 only - no option to change to match other instruments

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Hi all y'all.  I am new to these forums.  Just purchased a FH 1500, loved your comments, really helped my decision on this one.  For all ya who say you play Dead stuff, can you get back to my on how you program FH 1500 for Dead tones?  Thanks!

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Here is my review after a week with the FH1500. I am a multi instrumentalist playing guitar fiddle banjo pedal steel and keys in a country band. I am constantly looking for ways to consolidate gear for gigs. After seeing some ads for the FH I wanted to see if I could replace my 3 amp + 2 pedal board setup and accurately amplify this variety of instruments.

 

After a few hours at home setting connections and patches on the iPad app I was off to two weekend gigs. I play guitar and keyboard sounds thru a Roland gr55. I patched these thru the xlr ins and cranked up that input gain. The gr55 has all of the effects and patches in stereo so all I needed for this instrument was a loud clean amp. I thought the FH handled this perfectly and the keyboard patches were loud and clean and the WDW stereo sounded huge. Guitars were spot on and reproduced the GR55 very well. One drawback is that the in XLRs cannot be routed to the Out XLRs so I could not feed the house. Instead I miked the amp. More inputs or control would be great.

 

For the main input I plugged in fiddle and pedal steel guitar using an A/B box. Again more inputs would be nice. For these instruments I setup one bank each of four patches with various reverb and delay settings. Mostly clean with no amps or stomps. Worked with the EQ to find a pleasing tone for each instrument. Saved the banks then packed for the gig.

 

Arriving a little early to setup I warmed up by playing along with some music from the iPad. This was really fun and my band mates were impressed. It sounded great coming from the amp altogether. During the gig I struggled a bit with patches. I thought I could use the iPad as a switcher to change on the fly. This does work but their is some latency and synching that make it ok for switching between songs but not ideal during songs. The BT connection stayed up very well but the synching was annoying. I would suggest some form of live mode with low latency. Integration of backing tracks would also be a cool application via BT. The full range amp is perfect for this. The on-stage ability to edit volumes and delay tempos from the iPad worked well and I did much better with this on the second gig. The amp did a great job with the fiddle acoustic tone and the steel (usually requires a specialty amp) sounded bright and loud. I am not sure about the 1500 watts. I was at about 75% volume all night and was worried I might run out of headroom. An intriguing first night with the amp. Saved a few minutes in setup and tear down via amp consolidation. I liked the tone power and flexibility. Would like more routing options and/or inputs.

 

Second gig was better. BT was already synced and setup was a snap. The tilt back bracket is great and gives the amp a small footprint. My navigation and switching via iPad was better and was able to experiment with some effects and tap tempos. Tilted back you cannot see the LED so you will need the iPad or floorboard. As for the weight ... It is bad but manageable with a good amp case. I found it annoying that this amp does not fit into my SKB amp case by 1/2 inch. Cmon line6. A cover also would have been a nice freebie or accessory option. A dolly or push cart are must haves.

 

In closing the amp is loud, has impressive stereo sound and is fun. I think it solves my one amp to fit all wish list but the burden of size and weight are negatives. I am hoping that my other niggles about routing and flexibility can be addressed through software updates. IOS control and integration with this amp should improve with updates.

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Hi everybody, I've had the Firehawk 1500 going on 5 months and it has been in the repair shop half that time due to speaker issues. It's got cheap plastic knobs that get torn off by the least amount of pressure. The outer cover rips with ease. But it sounds great when it's working. I play all styles

7 nights a week and twice on the weekends so my equipment has to be road worthy and sadly this amp although marketed as road worthy is NOT!

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These have been great reviews and comments. Thanks for posting these

 

First I heard of a few things.

 

Cons

Headphone mono unless something plugged into XLR

XLR input does not offer an XLR output

Not streaming backing tracks via Bluetooth

Build quality may not be up to heavy road use

MIDI for patch change only

 

 

Pros

Sounds great within itself ,

WDW ,

and easy to use with Bluetooth

Great potential frfr cabinet for modeler

 

 

Surprised about the Bluetooth backing track integration though. But I am still intrigued by this heavy weight beast of an amp modeler . I still would like to try it out. I hope there may be one somewhere I can try like a Sam ash or a GC ?

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Cons

XLR input does not offer an XLR output

 

 

That is not accurate; the XLR input can be set to enable or disable XLR output.

 

The initial firmware passed the XLR input to the XLR output; the next firmware disabled that, then the firmware after that gives the user the option. I had to sell mine a while back to pay for car repairs (I miss it!) but I can say, Helix sounded fantastic through it!

 

Mine had the original firmware, which definitely let the XLR input pass through to the XLR output.

 

Monitor Input to Main Out can now be toggled via Live Edit Mode.

 

In the previous update, the routing of Monitor Inputs to the XLR Main Out was disabled, to avoid a feedback loop for the most common use case. However, for some users this may be beneficial.

 

To enable/disable Monitors to Direct Outs:

 

1. Press the preset knob to enter Live Edit Mode.

 

2. Scroll left to "Etc:ReAmp/MIDI/Main" and press the preset knob.

 

4. Scroll right to "ETC:Mon. to Main Off"

 

5. turn the Main (Big) Knob to set it to "ETC:Mon. to Main ON"

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That is not accurate; the XLR input can be set to enable or disable XLR output.

The initial firmware passed the XLR input to the XLR output; the next firmware disabled that, then the firmware after that gives the user the option. I had to sell mine a while back to pay for car repairs (I miss it!) but I can say, Helix sounded fantastic through it!

Mine had the original firmware, which definitely let the XLR input pass through to the XLR output.

Monitor Input to Main Out can now be toggled via Live Edit Mode.

In the previous update, the routing of Monitor Inputs to the XLR Main Out was disabled, to avoid a feedback loop for the most common use case. However, for some users this may be beneficial.

To enable/disable Monitors to Direct Outs:

1. Press the preset knob to enter Live Edit Mode.

2. Scroll left to "Etc:ReAmp/MIDI/Main" and press the preset knob.

4. Scroll right to "ETC:Mon. to Main Off"

5. turn the Main (Big) Knob to set it to "ETC:Mon. to Main ON"

Great info and thanks for the correction. I may have to grab one of these soon !

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Love My FH1500. But am kind of ashamed of myself cause I use it mostly as a monitor in for Helix. In that way (no horn- just the sides and 12") it sounds fantastic to me!

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Love My FH1500. But am kind of ashamed of myself cause I use it mostly as a monitor in for Helix. In that way (no horn- just the sides and 12") it sounds fantastic to me!

I was thinking the same, but also would like to use it as it is . I want to buy the new fbv footswitch if I do get the Firehawk 1500

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Love My FH1500. But am kind of ashamed of myself cause I use it mostly as a monitor in for Helix. In that way (no horn- just the sides and 12") it sounds fantastic to me!

 

I was thinking the same, but also would like to use it as it is . I want to buy the new fbv footswitch if I do get the Firehawk 1500

 

When I still had mine, I ended up using it primarily as a powered speaker for Helix - no shame in that!! I tried to do the wet/dry/wet thing but always just preferred cranking standard Helix patches through it in stereo. Definitely an awesome amp for that purpose! I did also have the FBV3; I just couldn't get into using the Firehawk modeling and FX, since Helix is well, better! Or at least, at the time, newer to me and so I maybe didn't explore using the Fh1500 on it's own enough - I am sure with appropriate time and some good patches, the FH1500 holds it's own - the amp itself sure rocks! And as a self-contained backup to Helix it's certainly efficient use of the gear.

 

I run my Helix through a pair of L3m at home now, and L2t and/or DT25 at the rehearsal spot; though I do miss the FH1500! I would totally replace it if I had the $ and found the right deal. Such is life; car repairs trump all!

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The LINE 6 FIREHAWK 1500 1500W GUITAR AMPLIFIER HAS REALLY NICE SOUNDS.

BUT IF YOU WANT TO CONTROL THE AMP VIA MIDI AS LINE6 HAS QUOTED IN THE FIREHAWK 1500 PILOTS GUIDE MIDI IMPLIMENTATION CHART OUT OF THE 18 MIDI CC#s NONE OF THEM ARE SUPPORTED.

ALL YOU CAN CHANGE WITH MIDI IS PROGRAM CHANGES THATS ALL

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Ive had mine for a few weeks now, and here are my impressions:

 

Cheap build quality for the price I paid. Just shy of $2k CDN all in for the FH, and FBV3 pedal. When I got it home, first thing I noticed was the tolex wasn't glued at all to the edge of the rear panel. Just flappin in the breeze. The knobs are sticking up proud of the cabinet. Especially concerning is the main volume knob. It's flimsy, and wobbly on the stalk, and I'm certain it wouldn't take much to shear off. Wonder how much that would cost to replace? In contrast, my Flextone III has very solid main data knob. It sits recessed into the panel, and is lower than the cabinet. Very sturdy design.

 

The main problem I see with this layout is some well meaning friend at a gig won't take care to notice these knobs sticking up, and slide a speaker cabinet over top of them, just trying to help out. These things get stacked all the time when gigging. This is a major over site for something advertised as "road ready".

The grille is flimsy, thin cut out plywood. Mine is cupped, so it sticks out in the middle, and is tight on top, and bottom. This leaves the gripping solely to the small velcro patches that make contact, leaving the middle to vibrate, and flutter.

 

I will have to finish this cabinet to my tastes, and standards, as I feel Line 6 has dropped the ball on this egregiously. This will include purchasing, and installing metal protective corners, gluing down the flapping tolex on the back access panel, getting a stainless mesh cut to fit over the flimsy speaker cloth to really protect all the speakers, and some screws to hold it down, to allow easier removal when required. Currently, access is by knife, as they neglected to include a simple fabric pull tab to facilitate removal. For the price I paid, it would have been nice to see this arrangement in place. My consultation services are free, if you want someone to guide you on how to really make this product stand out visually, and leave the purchaser with a sense they bought some quality.

 

The black paint wasn't very well done either on the front baffle. Looked like barely enough paint to cover the wood. All these things are surely the result of bean counters messing with the original idea, and the people who made it, where they made it. sadly, I'm getting used to being disappointed with my major purchases lately. What are you going to do? It's everywhere. My JVM 410 H didn't suffer a lick from this phenomenon however. It's still made in England. Doesn't suffer from build quality issues like the 5150 does, being made in Mexico.

 

I don't want to leave you all with a completely negative impression though. It's truly a technological marvel, and super versatile. The clean, and acoustical sounds are stunning, like nothing I can achieve with my Marshall. I like it enough that it's staying. Once I remedy the cabinet, I'm sure I will love it completely, despite the quirks I hope to be addressed by future firmware updates.

 

One more thing; the damn cat 5 cable supplied is junk. The protective ends keep sliding back, coming loose, and make it difficult to disengage. Compounding this is you installed the jacks upside down! The thumb is the strongest digit to compress the locking clip to get it out. You put that side down, and it's too close to the cheese grater of a heat sink to get my thumb in there, so I have to use my fingers. I NEVER get it out first try. My Flextone III has it right side up.

Easy fix, order oppositely mounted jack parts.

 

I hope you find this critique fair, balanced, and honest.

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