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Firehawk 1500 reviews

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Thanks for your review . I know it's frustrating when spending the amount this amplifier costs, finding build quality issues like that is unfortunate.

 

I have a helix and the build quality is exceptional in my view.

 

So I really am surprised to hear this QC and hopefully isn't the normal , maybe this one somehow slipped under the radar. But I certainly would be very disappointed if mine shows up like this. And I think your critique is more than fair considering you are justifiably dissapointed and I would think angry. I mean for grand, this should not have left the factory in this condition.

 

I should be receiving it tomorrow (Thursday) although the ups tracking is suspect and not sure what is going on , but it is scheduled for tomorrow delivery . But that's another issue and nothing to do with line 6.

 

On the upside I understand this amp sounds very good. I am wondering if you can share your thoughts on the mid to higher gain sounds. More of lead notes , and not necessarily chug style.

 

Well, I hope to have a positive experience with this amp as it has many features I like and hope it lives up to my expectations. I will post my thoughts once I have it for a few weeks as well.

 

 

 

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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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. 

 

 

Yep, and not just with Line 6. This is universal and until the owner of company strangles a few (BTW please post this event on Youtube) of them their gonna cut corners cause it saves um M O N E Y. That said, Ive use my FH1500 every day for abt a year with no hicups and just love the tones from Helix thru it.

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Hey guys, just got this amp and am loving it. I play slide guitar and ya'll need to try their Statesboro Open E patch...wow it's yummy. OK so I have a question, any thoughts on how I might hook up my talk box to it? For my talk box I have a little distortion pedal that I run into a miniature amp head that pushes through a horn driver to the hose up to the microphone etc. in the same song I need to switch between talk box and slide guitar (joe Walsh, Rocky Mountain Way). Thoughts? How what I run this through the effects loop? Will I be forced to use in ABY pedal to switch between what goes to the talk box and what goes to the fire hawk?

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Hi, here is my review of the Firehawk 1500. Il definitely LOVE it.

 

The installation went very well, the 28kg of the amp are certainly heavy to carry, but I solved the problem by placing it on a moving skateboard to bring it close to my Windows PC 7 to connect it via USB. There, I downloaded the free utility "Line 6 updater", then after installing it, I turned on the Firehawk 1500, this one was immediately detected by Line 6 Updater. From there, I just had to click on "update firmware": I was in version 1.00 and I installed the latest version in 1.20 date. The process took 5 minutes. Note that it can also be done from the application IOS or Android named Firehawk Remote, but it is 20 times longer.
 

The firmware having been updated, I plugged my guitar GODIN LGX directly into the Firehawk 1500 to which I had previously connected my control pedal FBV3. Then I turned on the amp, and I pressed the Bluetooth pairing button so that my Android 4.3 tablet, an Acer Ionica A-810, detects it, and the pairing took exactly 3 seconds!
 

From there, I started to explore the presets available on the amplifier: well unlike all the models I used previously, the presets were for some already very convincing, whether at low or very high volume . They bear the name of the famous song and are really in line with the original sound of the song (for example "Streets Have no Name" and we are plunged back into this superb U2 title in the blink of an eye.
 

However, I'm not adept at playing rehearsals or using pre-programmed sounds, so I directly began to recreate, via the Firehawk Remote application, all the sounds specific to my APOPHYSE group, by copying the initial settings That I had on my PODHD500X. It took me a day, but be aware that I have 35 different sounds, one or two per songs. Compared to the PODHD500X, I could not use two simultaneous amps, but it did not really miss (I just created two patches there or sometimes I had one for two). I managed to recreate all the sounds, with the pleasure to see some non-HD modelings that I liked especially come back and that were paying on the PODHD500X, like the Line 6 Insane. The creation of the sounds is much simpler than on the PODHD 500X: the noise gate is much more efficient (on the PODHD500X, it was necessary to take the "Hard Gate", not easy to configure), compression is unique which simplifies life (Even if we can add other types of compression), and we find all the superb HD modeling present in the PodHD500X, and other non-HD but super nice, like that of the ROLAND JC120, absolutely superb.
 

I then tested the acoustic sound of my GODIN LGX using just a tube simulator intended for this use in the application: fabulous restitution, even better than on the live sound: the treble are the same but the mediums, Especially the low-mediums, are much better rendered, and the basses are incomparable. They do not drool, even when pushing the amp to the maximum (and there, the volume is unbearable as it is powerful).
 

Then I plugged my PODHD500X directly into the MONITOR IN jacks on the back of the Firehawk 1500, and I used a completely blank patch in the FireHawk Remote application. I found the sounds that I heard on the sound, with the same characteristics: low medium and much better rendered. But after having long compared this use to the one where I plugged my guitar directly into the Firehawk 1500, I found in the end that there was no noticeable difference and that the latter mode was still much more simple. I had managed to recreate all my sounds and they sounded the same way as the POD HD500X on the PA, with more low bass, more serious, and above all, a lot more presence.
 

Then, I reconnected the Firehawk 1500 on my PC in USB and I tested the recording with Cubase 6: the latency is very low (between 3 ms and 10 ms), and the quality of the recording is superb, As with the POD HD500X.
 

Finally, I tested two other uses: the ROLAND E-09 keyboard of my wife live in the inputs MONITOR IN (with jack cables because the MONITOR IN jacks are combi-jack or XLR): pure happiness, Or the sound used, the bass of the piano were absolutely amazing. Then we bugged our bass player's bass.Here we started with just a simulation of tube preamp: it was already very good but it lacked power and roundness in the low. Then, I placed a tweed B-Man amp simulation with a simulation of 4X10 inches speakers: by boosting the bass a little and activating compression and an EQ, my bassist was amazed at the result obtained, Even at the maximum volume of the amp. He says to be very interested to make other tests because the holding power of the Firehawk 1500 in the low is absolutely incredible even to his ears!
 

Finally, I would say that I used it twice in rehearsal with my band, with my buddy guitarist who he played on Mesa boogie 5.25 express + on which he had my PODHD500X in 4-wire mode, the bass on his Clean amp, keyboard, voice and battery ROLAND TD15KV on the HAK AUDIO Lucas 1000, and my guitar right in the Firehawk 1500.
We played in medium volume and strong, and I had no trouble hearing my guitar facing the Mesa Boogie yet lamps and very powerful: we could clearly hear our two guitars, it was a pleasure. Then, we tested drastically the general volume: there, my guitar pierced much more than the Mesa Boogie, which, like any tube amp, must have volume to sound, which is not the case Firehawk 1500. My guitarist buddy who swears by the lamps was really impressed.
 

So I have no doubt that this amp will serve me, both in rehearsal and in concert, but also at home recording studio.

 

Best regards from France,

 

Simon

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