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ScottAyers

Reasons Why I Returned My Helix

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Op didn't mention tweaking the pre delay on the reverb. Of course the guitar is going to sound distant if the reverberations arrive very soon after the dry guitar, puts them both at a similar distance. Cranking up the pre delay puts the guitar right in your face. You have the choice of everything in between, how it should be.

 

With my GNX4 and my VTS's this behavior does not happen anywhere near as much. The guitar does not get pushed into the background so drastically.

On the Helix. The guitar source gets pushed back more than I like. And it's next to impossible to bring back in front again with EG or any other settings.

It's not an EQ problem. The pedal just isn't hot enough for me.

Not enough presence. Not enough crispness. Not enough source sound. Not enough Drive. Or whatever adjective you choose to call it.

I would need to use external reverbs and other equipment to overdrive the pedal's sound into something I liked. And that would make no sense.

 

At this point I'm just repeating myself over and over. So I would prefer stop here.

Talking about the same things I didn't like over and over with forum members seems more like complaining, than constructive feeback.

I've said everything that I want to say about why I returned it. It's up to the company now to use my feeback, or toss it in the garbage bin.

 

It was nice chatting with you guys.

I just want to stop saying negative things at this point. Enough is enough.

 

-ScottA

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One trick with delays is to run them in a parallel path if you don't need over a certain amount of delayed signal. Used to use that well advised tip from the Axe FX II days. Kept the delay level from monkeying with your dry signal too much...

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For an individual delay or reverb, the mix control is essentially the same as running in parallel. Running in parallel is useful if you want to keep delays out of the reverb or reverb out of the delays (both sound a bit different). I like to limit the amount of reverb and keep it pretty warm as reverb tends to push the tone back and makes it less distinct. I use delays for ambience instead of reverbs to get the benefits of ambience without the mud of reverb.

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Yeah, I prefer delays as well... never have been a huge reverb guy other than a little in the studio.

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@ L6 staff and experts

 

I wonder if the returned devices are then sold as brand new and never used, therefore exactly at the same price..

because if that were the case I would find it unacceptable..

 

What actually happens in these cases?

There's no way for L6 to answer that, because they don't sell directly to customers. So you're left with whatever fairy tales the retailers are peddling...and we all know how trustworthy that business is. Stuff gets repackaged and sold as "new" all the time. Why lose money when they can pawn it off on somebody else, hoping they won't notice?

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In the past I have had a major retailer (one we all know) sell and ship me a product that had been sold, returned, repackaged, reshipped, and sold as new. That may not be refurbished, but its not right either. I focus like a laser beam on every package I get in just for that reason.

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Since you guys are talking about the reselling topic. I can share with you that when I bought mine new from GC. The seals (stickers) on the box and the plastic bag that the unit is packaged in. Were both already broken.

That did not alarm me too much because I just figured the guys at the store probably tried it out. I wouldn't blame them for that. And the plastic covers for the UI display were still in tact.

 

When I unboxed mine. I left the sticker covers in place just in case I wanted to return it for some reason.

That turned out to be a prophetic move on my part. Because I did indeed return it. So I am expecting them to sell it as brand new and at full price to someone else.

While that might bother some people. They did give me 45 days to try it at no risk. And that store has to make money too. So my policy is if I buy something there that is pre-opened. As long as it is still in "brand new" condition. I'm OK with that.

If they had to reduce the price of every item that was returned. Even if it was used for a very short period of time. It would not be fair to them. And they might not have a generous 45 day testing period. So it's a compromise I'm willing to make with them.

They give me a nice long free testing period...And in turn I overlook the pre-opened thing if it happens. As long as whatever I buy is still in brand new condition.

 

 

-ScottA

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@ L6 staff and experts

 

I wonder if the returned devices are then sold as brand new and never used, therefore exactly at the same price..

because if that were the case I would find it unacceptable..

 

What actually happens in these cases?

People want 15-60 day trial periods and buy stuff they pretty much know they will return, yet they don't want open box. . . . .. . . . Line 6 has zero to do with these trials that is a reseller issue.

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after som very predictable threads on how FAS or kemper users returned helix because it isn't as good. It is refreshing/funny to see Helix getting returned for a GNX? lol

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after som very predictable threads on how FAS or kemper users returned helix because it isn't as good. It is refreshing/funny to see Helix getting returned for a GNX? lol

Lol. Don't say that. The Helix is far better quality than my GNX4 pedal.

My GNX4 is definitley not great. It's too bright sounding and out dated. Which is why I'm looking to upgrade. But the Helix as it is right now. Is too far in the other direction for my taste.

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[...]

It was nice chatting with you guys.

I just want to stop saying negative things at this point. Enough is enough.

 

-ScottA

???

Obviously not...

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With my GNX4 and my VTS's this behavior does not happen anywhere near as much. The guitar does not get pushed into the background so drastically.

On the Helix. The guitar source gets pushed back more than I like. And it's next to impossible to bring back in front again with EG or any other settings.

It's not an EQ problem. The pedal just isn't hot enough for me.

Not enough presence. Not enough crispness. Not enough source sound. Not enough Drive. Or whatever adjective you choose to call it.

I would need to use external reverbs and other equipment to overdrive the pedal's sound into something I liked. And that would make no sense.

 

At this point I'm just repeating myself over and over. So I would prefer stop here.

Talking about the same things I didn't like over and over with forum members seems more like complaining, than constructive feeback.

I've said everything that I want to say about why I returned it. It's up to the company now to use my feeback, or toss it in the garbage bin.

 

It was nice chatting with you guys.

I just want to stop saying negative things at this point. Enough is enough.

 

-ScottA

 

I'd go buy something else if I were you.....maybe a Fractal or Kemper, both excellent units.....don't really understand what your after but I'm having zero problems getting some pretty forward sitting tones out the Helix, but maybe you're a pro player with higher end needs than me....good luck.

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Funny discussion.

I had a GNX4 for years and loved it very much from the all-in-one approach (Amps & Effects, Drums, Recorder). However I had only really two good sounding presets.

So I've been in search of the right sound ever since and have tried all kinds of solutions:

Digitech RP300 / RP1000 / iPB10, Line 6 Toneport UX8, Line 6 Pod, Boss GT10 / GT100, Zoom R8, Vox ToneLab ST / EX, you name it I had them all. 

Also tried some Amps (Line 6 Amplifi, Marshall MG50, Marshall AFD100) plus a Line 6 M13, sound wise good but cumbersome handling for DAW recording or jamming to backing tracks. I never was really satisfied.

Until I got my Helix a few weeks ago  :)!

I've added a BOSS RC-300 LoopStation and two StageSource speakers (1x L2t, 1x L2m) to the setup. 

Now I've got an incredibly sounding rig with amazing routing & recording flexibility.

Some 3rd party IRs (Ownhammer) put the icing on the cake for me.

Probably all I ever need. I'm finally happy.  :D

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[...]

I never was really satisfied.

Until I got my Helix a few weeks ago  :)!

[...]

 

So you'd better start a new thread: "I'm finally happy"!

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So you'd better start a new thread: "I'm finally happy"!

 

 

Good idea, have done so!  :)

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I'd go buy something else if I were you.....maybe a Fractal or Kemper, both excellent units.....don't really understand what your after but I'm having zero problems getting some pretty forward sitting tones out the Helix, but maybe you're a pro player with higher end needs than me....good luck.

I'm not going to buy anything at this point.

There's currently a nice battle going on now between Fractal & LINE 6. So I'm going to wait it out and see what happens.

It's almost guaranteed that LINE 6 will focus more time on the sounds and modelers in the next one. I want to wait and see what they come up with.

 

-ScottA

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Apologies for stoking the interflames, ignore if you want, but if you're considering a Fractal product, check this:

http://www.tonymckenzie.com/axe-fx-II.htm

 

Specifically, check the GS link near the bottom of that page, and the threads spinning off from there.

 

Whatever you think of Tony, the linked threads don't paint a picture I'd be super happy to be a part of. Shame, really. Nice tech, from what I understand. (Not that I've 100% crossed the Axe off my list of possibles myself, but close... I'd much prefer the Helix to work out, when I get one.)

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Scott, if you are still following this, about the only thing that made my GNX4 usable was a guy that modeled amps and artist sounds for that pedal, I think his patches are still available at MFX Supermodels, totally worth it if you are really going to keep using that pedal.

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The GNX4 + The Supermodels Disks (get The Ultimate) are that good and worth the $. I've progressed up the GNX food chain up to the GNX3k and the 4/3's are still fun. The warp feature makes blending the amps pretty easy.  

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@zooey. That doesn't sound good at all.

 

@Gawwuf. The one good sound I do get from my GNX4 is based on one of those Supermodel patches.

I turn down the gain to play Eric Johnson stuff. And turn up the gain for Satch and Vai stuff.

If it wasn't for that one single patch. The unit would only be good as a boat anchor. :)

 

One thing I did not mention before is that the USB<-->Computer on the Helix seemed to be pretty good. Low latency.

That's was plus for the Helix. I was happy with that part of it.

 

-ScottA

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Apologies for stoking the interflames, ignore if you want, but if you're considering a Fractal product, check this:

http://www.tonymckenzie.com/axe-fx-II.htm

 

Specifically, check the GS link near the bottom of that page, and the threads spinning off from there.

 

Whatever you think of Tony, the linked threads don't paint a picture I'd be super happy to be a part of. Shame, really. Nice tech, from what I understand. (Not that I've 100% crossed the Axe off my list of possibles myself, but close... I'd much prefer the Helix to work out, when I get one.)

 

Just read some of those threads....Yikes!!  Tony is okay, just take it all with a grain of salt, but some of those posts, some with links to other posts along the same lines, were pretty eye opening.....

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OK, wow. Had I seen this thread earlier, we could have avoided all this.

 

To the original poster: W.A.D. - Works as designed. It's a technical phrase, I'll expand on it.

 

One should only expect what Line 6 designed for the Helix. By your words and expectations you are looking for a "amp/cab in the room" sound. Not gonna happen, nor does Line 6 claim it would. And experienced folks don't expect it.  Sean Halley talks about this in more than one video that Helix sounds like you're in the control room and the amp/cab is in the studio. Hey, there's something to that.

 

Just ask Pete Thorn: http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/23115-tone-tips-modelers-versus-traditional-rigs " If you are used to hearing an amp “in the room,†going to a modeling rig can be a difficult transition. This is because guitar amps interact with the physical space they are in, and the resulting sound you hear [from the modeler] is the sum of the amp, cab, and environment. Many folks run their modeling gear into full-range, flat-response monitor speakers (aka FRFR rigs) that are placed onstage or close to them in an attempt to recreate the amp-in-the-room feel, but in my opinion, it’s a considerably different experience from having a cranked 4x12 behind you and flapping your pant legs." He's talking about you!

 

So, works as designed, I guess, move on as you have....

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When I crank the FRFR up nice and loud, I get a pretty good simulation of amp in the room... the best news is I don't HAVE to endure that on stage every time I play now. Ears have gotten a major break.

 

However, when I'm in a post work mood, I crank two FRFR monitors up high and the neighbors swear it's my tube amps and 4x12's and 2x12's. Hehehe

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Scott, if you are still following this, about the only thing that made my GNX4 usable was a guy that modeled amps and artist sounds for that pedal, I think his patches are still available at MFX Supermodels, totally worth it if you are really going to keep using that pedal.

these are the ones I have

@zooey. That doesn't sound good at all.

 

@Gawwuf. The one good sound I do get from my GNX4 is based on one of those Supermodel patches.

I turn down the gain to play Eric Johnson stuff. And turn up the gain for Satch and Vai stuff.

If it wasn't for that one single patch. The unit would only be good as a boat anchor. :)

 

One thing I did not mention before is that the USB<-->Computer on the Helix seemed to be pretty good. Low latency.

That's was plus for the Helix. I was happy with that part of it.

 

-ScottA

which ones did you guys like???  and scott you never replied about the 11 rack have you looked at it? 

 

Lol. Don't say that. The Helix is far better quality than my GNX4 pedal.

My GNX4 is definitley not great. It's too bright sounding and out dated. Which is why I'm looking to upgrade. But the Helix as it is right now. Is too far in the other direction for my taste.

whoa out dated?!?!?! I still have my ART SGX 2000 express and that unit I got in 1992 and it still has some awesome sounds, I think better than the GNX4 but not as good as the 11 rack and it can cut through the mix when the GNX4 can't (if you read what my experience was using it with a band). but I digress I updated because I wanted something I could tweak and get good tones on my own and I can with Helix... and it's compact (2 big things for me) I'm not looking for a fight here just pointing out what worked for me. I hope you can find what your looking for...   

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I will look into that one jaminjimlp,

But I don't have a local dealer here where I can test most of this stuff out. And that's a big problem.

My local GC doesn't carry most of this stuff.

 

I also don't want to be the stereotypical guitar player that has a bunch of unused pedals laying around.

I still have an old Quadraverb effects unit that I bought a very long time ago (80's?) before I bought the GNX4.

When I bought the Quadraverb it was state of the art. Later when I bought the GNX4 it was state of the art. Now the Fractal stuff & the Helix are state of the art.

I don't want to be an effects collector like so many people are. :)

 

When I buy something new. I use the hell out of it for a very long time. Squeezing every penny from it that I can.

I can't afford to buy something that is just good, or decent, or almost what I wanted. And then get something better in a couple of years.

It has to blow me away so much that I'll use the hell out of it for at least a decade.

I'm at that decade point with my GNX. So I'm looking around for an upgrade that I will be happy with for the next 10 years.

It doesn't help that the Helix is 3x more expensive than my other purchase either.

The Helix is close...but close isn't good enough. I need to be blown away. Or else I cannot justify the cost.

 

-ScottA

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It's not in your face. It's not crisp. It's sort of soft and distant sounding.

 

This is proof that you just had a defective unit. 

 

I'd have to go out of my way to make the Helix sound soft and distant. 

 

Yes, the Satriani preset the guy posted above sounds soft and distant, but that's by design. You certainly don't have to program presets to sound like that. 

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Tend to agree heavily! There is nothing soft and distant about the majority of my presets (only if I want them programmed that way). I have NO problems cutting though the mix into FRFR, and the band and 2nd guitarist (still using a tube amp and pedals) have all been very complimentary and amazed that I'm getting these tones through "one of those electronic digital thingies."

 

The other guitarist knows well what I get out of my tube amps and pedals. He's actually considering going Helix when he gets the spare change to afford it and an FRFR.

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I don't want to be an effects collector like so many people are. :)

 

 

You don't have to be. Just sell the stuff.  And don't worry about what other people do.  :)

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Lol, Who the heck would buy an old Quadraverb rack unit or GNX4 pedal?

Maybe a museum? :P

I'd be lucky if I got 50 bucks for both.

 

 

-ScottA

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Well Scott, you can't expect to get a full return for a 10 year old unit, can you? And you wouldn't want to be one of those "effects collectors" now...  ;)

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It does take some time to master the Helix, but it has the sonic capability to sound however you want. After following this thread for a few days i'm gonna have to go with this harsh quote from the AX8 vs Helix thread.

 

'Spoiler alert: If you can't get a good tone out of either one of these units, it's your fault. Plain and simple. It's not that your ears are that discerning, you just don't know what you're doing.'

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A GNX4 in decent shape can go $100-150 sometimes more. Just saying.................

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I partially disagree with rrmark. Yes it does take a lot of working helix knowledge to coax good tones out of the helix. But, the biggest part IMO, is what frfr/amp etc nightmare combo's to get those good tones to come out. I had two helix and returned both. I went thru endless hair pulling out nights with countless monitors and the like and could not get what I Needed it to sound like, and I had GD DOWNLOADS etc. I now have a firehawk 1500 and tone wise and ease of use just sounds great on stage and thru FOH. To tell you the truth from my perspective better than the helix. Use your iPad standing up, yeah not bent over, not on a desk not using your feet to adjust parameters. Tones are great thru all those speakers in front on the fh1500 and it transfers almost seamless to FOH. Oh did I mention you can feed a line back into it for your band monitor, with its own volume control. Cheers

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It does take some time to master the Helix, but it has the sonic capability to sound however you want. After following this thread for a few days i'm gonna have to go with this harsh quote from the AX8 vs Helix thread.

 

'Spoiler alert: If you can't get a good tone out of either one of these units, it's your fault. Plain and simple. It's not that your ears are that discerning, you just don't know what you're doing.'

That's one of the most ignorant things I've ever read.

This person just happens to be a fan of the darker, muddier tones that comes from the Helix. And has no idea that people have tastes that are different from his.

Even if I loved the tones from the Helix. I would never say something like that. Because as a grown up mature person, I know that everyone has different tastes.

Please don't ever quote this moron again. Or any other fanboys like him.

 

While there's a lot of people happy with the tones. There's also a lot of people like me that are not.

And you know what? The number of people speaking up and saying that the Helix sounds too muddy is growing every day...Start counting them people...It's not just me.

It's not an EQ problem. And it's not because we don't know how to use it. It is an actual sound characteristic of the unit that actually exists.

You either love it...or you don't. But make no mistake. It is there. It does exist. It is an actual thing.

 

All I'm asking for is for Line 6 to try to address this issue in the next version. And try to give the unit more presence and source sound when the reverbs are used.

This is what I personally require. I'm only speaking for myself. Even though I know that I'm not the only one that feel this way.

If it stays the way it is now. And you guys love it that way. Then great...enjoy it. I'll just have to find something else that caters more to my specific sound needs.

But that makes me sad, because I really liked the new UI and the hardware for the most part.

 

 

-ScottA

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I partially disagree with rrmark. Yes it does take a lot of working helix knowledge to coax good tones out of the helix. But, the biggest part IMO, is what frfr/amp etc nightmare combo's to get those good tones to come out. I had two helix and returned both. I went thru endless hair pulling out nights with countless monitors and the like and could not get what I Needed it to sound like, and I had GD DOWNLOADS etc. I now have a firehawk 1500 and tone wise and ease of use just sounds great on stage and thru FOH. To tell you the truth from my perspective better than the helix. Use your iPad standing up, yeah not bent over, not on a desk not using your feet to adjust parameters. Tones are great thru all those speakers in front on the fh1500 and it transfers almost seamless to FOH. Oh did I mention you can feed a line back into it for your band monitor, with its own volume control. Cheers

Yes, I agree that what you plug the Helix into is going to have a big impact on how it sounds and affect the ease of tweaking, but i don't really see that as a Helix failing.

The FH1500 was announced 3 hours after I bought my Helix, I think I would have probably have got one instead, as an all in one solution. I could have returned the Helix but decided to persevere as there weren't any FH1500 out to try and I had already waited 3 months. It did take me a lot of searching to find an FRFR coupling i was happy with for live. Glad you are getting on well with the FH, l'll definitely have to try one out eventually.

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...While there's a lot of people happy with the tones. There's also a lot of people like me that are not.

And you know what? The number of people speaking up and saying that the Helix sounds too muddy is growing every day...Start counting them people...It's not just me.

It's not an EQ problem. And it's not because we don't know how to use it. It is an actual sound characteristic of the unit that actually exists.

You either love it...or you don't. But make no mistake. It is there. It does exist. It is an actual thing.

 

All I'm asking for is for Line 6 to try to address this issue in the next version. And try to give the unit more presence and source sound when the reverbs are used...

 

Couldn't disagree more. Not sure where these legions of people are, not sure how they are listening to Helix, but I have had zero problems with muddiness in this unit.

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Peter,

I'm not making this up. I also did not say anything remotely like legions either...That's a trollish thing to say.

All you need to do is read through the other threads on this forum to see that the comment "it's too muddy" has been stated several times.

And that's just here in the Line 6 Helix forum alone.

This is not just my opinion. Other people have said, and are still saying this. The words actually exist on the on the page that you can see with your own eyes.

And the number is growing. Not shrinking.

 

But don't let that spoil your fun. And don't be defensive about it either. You're lucky. You got the sound you wanted.

I would never dis people that like the tone of the Helix. Even though I fall into the "It's too muddy" group. I will always advise people to try it for themselves. Because not everyone needs or likes what I like.

There's no need for anyone to defend liking the sound of the Helix. But you do need to accept that there are people that don't. And would like to see Line 6 do something about it.

 

 

-ScottA

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Couldn't disagree more. Not sure where these legions of people are, not sure how they are listening to Helix, but I have had zero problems with muddiness in this unit.

 

I don't get it either, my Helix is anything but muddy unless you over saturate the heck out of something, but then my old tube amps and pedals did the same exact thing....looks to me like the Helix is reproducing its modeled units pretty well

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I think the Helix can sound muddy, yes... It can also sound too crisp or bright. I've literally heard complaints from all sides about all Line 6 gear as far back as I can remember. Anyway, trying to record real amps with real mics, you quickly learn that these sorts of issues come up all the time when doing that as well. I tried recording a few tracks with my Princeton Reverb and a mic recently, and I thought they were a little muddy. I actually preferred what I was getting with the Helix. I was a little surprised, honestly, because I love my Princeton.

 

Anyway, this is a rough mix of a song my band has been recording, and all these guitars are the Helix. I would not call them muddy. They are actually bordering on being almost too crisp for my taste, but I though these types of tones fit this particular song well. These are all the Dr Z model.

 

https://soundcloud.com/phil-miller-20/a-reason-for-it-all-mix-1/s-JMtb7

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Peter,

I'm not making this up. I also did not say anything remotely like legions either...That's a trollish thing to say...

 

Well, maybe you are. As far as I can tell. There's no way to back that up with data, so...

 

No, it wasn't a trollish thing to say, no moreso than some of your incendiary remarks have been here.

 

...And the number is growing. Not shrinking...

And, since the number of Helices in the wild is growing rapidly right now... I say... duh...

 

The number of people who are really stinkin' happy with Helix is probably growing faster.

 

The number of people who can't even get their hands on the one real competitor to Helix but wish they could is probably growing even faster...

 

It's ironic, because on the latest patches I've made, they have been so present in the mix I've had to make them MORE "muddy" to sit with the band better.

 

I'm goin' with "If you can't get a great sound, in the house and in the mix, out of a Helix, or an AX8 or Axe FX, or a Kemper, or an Amplifire, or even a Firehawk or RP1000 or HD500 for that matter... it ain't the gear.

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