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Helix Vs. AX8

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I'd have ordered those Ax8 invites and thrown them right on eBay for a quick $500-$600 profit.  What's the risk you have a return window.

 

Did you sell the invite or the Ax8 on eBay?  Think I may have found that extra income I need. Three of those and its a free Ax8  ;)

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Did you sell the invite or the Ax8 on eBay?  Think I may have found that extra income I need. Three of those and its a free Ax8  ;)

 

Yes I've sold 2 AX8's on eBay.

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Great thread on a fair comparison review! Glad the HeliX can hold its own!

 

I'd like to know what is different between the HeliX and the HD regarding sounding good from scratch?

Is there any way I can apply it to the HD ?

 

To me the HD's 30 plus Amps and 100 FX is crazy too many but nice to have. The Fractal's 250 plus is mind boggling!

 

But, it could be their amps sound good from the get go and rather than tweak you select a variant till you get what you like.

 

A complaint about the HD is all the tweaking that is needed but I find it easy to edit on the unit but you get wide variances of tone out of most of the amps. Dirty amps cam be cleaned up nicely.

 

The HeliX looks a dream I hope to realatize (coined word) one day!

 

Coming from HeliX what could help the HD meantime?

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There you have it. Two dudes jammed on their rigs one saturday afternoon, proclaimed them to be equal, all the Helix owners jumped in and agreed,  and its finally settled.

 

Please guys before announcing to everyone that youve coped the "holy grail tone" at least put up some audio, so the rest of us can form our opinion. Otherwise the proclamations are pretty meaningless....Speaking from a standpoint of sonics. Obviously.

 

I'm not sold on the 3rd party irs
It makes stereo a pain and finding the right one at band volume is a torture my band mates aren't really signing up for
If you have ones you know and use already then it's great
If you want to sit and audition 100 3rd party IRs then you have much more patience than me I have to say :)

Look man, you have to have an idea of what you like. You dont just blaze thru every IR in the bag hoping to nail it. If you know you like a Mesa cab with v30's and a 121, and youre wasting energy with 100 other IRs, you only have yourself to blame.

 

Yeah if youve never owned a cabinet you like, dont know anything about the speakers in them, or never mic'd it before, then i can see how one may feel the need to try every IR they get their hands on...but to say "youre not sold" on a near identical re-creation of some of the most sought after guitar cabinets in the history of music, sounds extremely uninformed.

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HELIX vs AX8 - Metal

by Ola Englund

 

Helix owner here, in this video the ax8 absolutely obliterates the Helix. Side by side the fizz and thin sound sooooo many people complain about are clearly evident.

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Helix owner here, in this video the ax8 absolutely obliterates the Helix. Side by side the fizz and thin sound sooooo many people complain about are clearly evident.

 

Not sure what it proves, though... Either one can be made to sound good or bad, or nearly identical even.

 

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There you have it. Two dudes jammed on their rigs one saturday afternoon, proclaimed them to be equal, all the Helix owners jumped in and agreed, and its finally settled.

 

Please guys before announcing to everyone that youve coped the "holy grail tone" at least put up some audio, so the rest of us can form our opinion. Otherwise the proclamations are pretty meaningless....Speaking from a standpoint of sonics. Obviously.

 

Look man, you have to have an idea of what you like. You dont just blaze thru every IR in the bag hoping to nail it. If you know you like a Mesa cab with v30's and a 121, and youre wasting energy with 100 other IRs, you only have yourself to blame.

 

Yeah if youve never owned a cabinet you like, dont know anything about the speakers in them, or never mic'd it before, then i can see how one may feel the need to try every IR they get their hands on...but to say "youre not sold" on a near identical re-creation of some of the most sought after guitar cabinets in the history of music, sounds extremely uninformed.

It would if that was even remotely what I was saying

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Not sure what it proves, though... Either one can be made to sound good or bad, or nearly identical even.

 

It proves that with all else being equal the ax8 amps sound more articulate than the Helix amps. Much, much less fizz, and a more focused low end. It proves that ax8 amp sims are closer to mix ready, right off the bat, which means less time tweaking. Its even easier/faster to get a good sound with ax8.

 

I think we were all attracted to modelers initially, because with very little fuss, its easy to get a good sound.  Who wants to spend their time trying to attenuate fizz - and thats exactly what i do with helix....and what soooo many others here have complained about here. You wont see nearly as many of those types of posts at the fractal forum.

 

Either one can be made to sound  nearly identical even.

 

 

Not necessarily.  The fizz isnt going to disappear on its own. You could start with critical EQ cuts, which is not going to fix it, or darker cab sounds. All of which leads to a darker sound. The best you can do is attenuate or hide it. How could 2 sounds be identical if one displays obvious high end artifacts? 

 

I do agree with some part of your "not sure what it proves" point, because to me this comes off a bit, as a sales pitch or pumping ax8's tires over the helix.

 

Notice how the Helix clips were always second? It may have been done to intensify the fizz.

 

I dont believe much of anything until ive experienced it in person, but it does give me reason to investigate further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It would if that was even remotely what I was saying

It IS what you said. You dont get it. We'll leave it at that.

 

 

It makes stereo a pain

How exactly does it "make stereo a pain"? Im dying to hear this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've owned the Kemper, Axe-FX II XL+, AX8, and Helix.

I could have kept any/all of them... but after hours of side-by-side comparison... I decided on the Helix.

Helix can sound very good.

If you're hearing an overly bright top-end, it's easy to remedy.  This can be done via the onboard low-pass filters or using an appropriate IR.

 

If you just load a default amp model... and say it's too bright (without little to no tweaking of parameters)... I just don't get the sentiment.  

Would you do the same when firing up a new tube-head/cab?

If it's too bright, you'd turn down the presence/treble controls.

If it's overly boomy, you'd turn down the resonance/bass controls.

 

I could happily use any of the above... but I simply enjoy using Helix more than the others.

 

FWIW, Talking about amp-models having a flabby bottom-end...

When using either the Helix or Axe/AX8, a high-pass filter (prior to the Amp block) works wonders for tightening up the bottom end.

 

These devices are no different than any other piece of music gear.

One man's awesome is another's POS.   

It's like arguing politics...

There is no absolute right.

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I agree the comparison was slightly biased to the FX8 in the between the HX and AX8 video.

 

The presets were done separately to sound the best to him.

The HX definitely sounded brighter with noticeable fizz and the AX8 darker without fizz but more low end distortion and picking or pickup rattle artifacts coming thru.

 

Generally, though the AX8 sounded better in this demo.

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In the KPA, AX8, HX, Bias comparison video.

Couldn't tell but the 3rd like the HX, the last sounded like the AX8 

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Helix owner here, in this video the ax8 absolutely obliterates the Helix. Side by side the fizz and thin sound sooooo many people complain about are clearly evident.

Do you know that in that video he didnt use the same settings on all the tests not even same amps in one of the A/B test or same channel in the Mesa Rectifier test

And in one maybe even more preset he had a dist pedal in front of the amp it was in the uber amp i am not sure he had that in the AX8 preset that would make a big difference in tone.

 

He said in the video he dial in a good sound (to his ears) on both units and then A/B them

He was using Helix stock cabs without even doing the MUST DO filtering in the cabs in order to get a descent sound

To my ears Helix stock cabs will never sound great for metal tones you need an IR to get a good tone and even then you have to struggle alot with EQ and filters.

 

As soon as he run them against the same IR Helix sounded alot better but not as good as AX8 of course that may have to do with the fact of the diffrerent settings and of course different amps and channels also beacuse he used a dist pedal in front of ther amp and maybe not used it in the AX8..

If he had used the same settings amps and channel of amps they would sound more alike but Helix would still not sound as good to my ears it would be brigher and thinner then AX8

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I enjoy watching these videos and I typically learn a thing or two from them, but I don't allow them to weigh very heavily on my conclusions about any of the units involved. It is all very subjective, and it's likewise very much subject to the skill of the person setting up the units and their familiarity with each. Go watch Pete Thorn's demo of Helix for example, tell me those tones fall short of any imaginable standard.

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Helix owner here, in this video the ax8 absolutely obliterates the Helix. Side by side the fizz and thin sound sooooo many people complain about are clearly evident.

 

Well, for my ears the Engl sounds better on Helix, the other both on AX8. And I think that's what it's like: Some amps and cabinets are better on the one, some on the other …

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I haven't played the AX8, but other Fractal units, and they can be made to sound just as fizzy and undefined as the Helix can be made to sound, just as the Helix can be made to sound big a rich and tight as the Fractal stuff can be made to sound. 

 

If you think amps don't fizz or have high-end artifacts, you've probably never actually put your ear by the speaker.

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the trouble with Ola's comparisons is that he is working with a very extreme type of sound from a very particular genre.  Very few players  outside of metal ever use sounds like those. They are in every case, on every choice of equipment,  thin and harsh and fizzy.  Its not the device  - its the users choice.  I like distorted tones....but mine are always warmer and fatter than those sounds.  Of course Im not trying to cut through a mix with too much volume, bottom end, top end and no dynamics...

 

Where as various amps and cabs are specifically marketed at the metal market, Helix is not  (not to say it isnt totally up to that job as well)

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Just recently the AX8 was on sale for 1,099.99 and the pedal was about $40.00 cheaper. I was ready to sale my line 6 Helix on eBay and put it up for grabs. I had it up for a few days. What changed my mind was that two days later is what still bothered me not just getting a real good sounding unit, but the fact of not having two amps at once on the AX8 really bothered me. I am trying to be patient with all the line 6 Helix firmware update s, but there is still a need for a lot of improvement. I still have glitches with sound issues, and sometimes the unit hesitates when scrolling through amps for example. I am up to date with the 2.30 firmware. I wish line 6 could create a program to link with the Helix to run a diagnostic test to see what is going on. Maybe it may be missing a update or just have to install a download again. 1-2-18 I went back to the Fractual site and learned that the AX8 out of stock and that I would be placed on the waiting list, and the sale price ended. So I am keeping my line 6 Helix and hoping that with more updates coming, these problems that I read with the latest firmware 2.30 update will be resolved and keep on adding stuff to this unit.

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Just recently the AX8 was on sale for 1,099.99 and the pedal was about $40.00 cheaper. I was ready to sale my line 6 Helix on eBay and put it up for grabs. I had it up for a few days. What changed my mind was that two days later is what still bothered me not just getting a real good sounding unit, but the fact of not having two amps at once on the AX8 really bothered me. I am trying to be patient with all the line 6 Helix firmware update s, but there is still a need for a lot of improvement. I still have glitches with sound issues, and sometimes the unit hesitates when scrolling through amps for example. I am up to date with the 2.30 firmware. I wish line 6 could create a program to link with the Helix to run a diagnostic test to see what is going on. Maybe it may be missing a update or just have to install a download again. 1-2-18 I went back to the Fractual site and learned that the AX8 out of stock and that I would be placed on the waiting list, and the sale price ended. So I am keeping my line 6 Helix and hoping that with more updates coming, and these problems that I read with the latest firmware 2.30 update will be resolved and keep on adding stuff to this unit.

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Just recently the AX8 was on sale for 1,099.99 and the pedal was about $40.00 cheaper. I was ready to sale my line 6 Helix on eBay and put it up for grabs. I had it up for a few days. What changed my mind was that two days later is what still bothered me not just getting a real good sounding unit, but the fact of not having two amps at once on the AX8 really bothered me. I am trying to be patient with all the line 6 Helix firmware update s, but there is still a need for a lot of improvement. I still have glitches with sound issues, and sometimes the unit hesitates when scrolling through amps for example. I am up to date with the 2.30 firmware. I wish line 6 could create a program to link with the Helix to run a diagnostic test to see what is going on. Maybe it may be missing a update or just have to install a download again. 1-2-18 I went back to the Fractual site and learned that the AX8 out of stock and that I would be placed on the waiting list, and the sale price ended. So I am keeping my line 6 Helix and hoping that with more updates coming, and these problems that I read with the latest firmware 2.30 update will be resolved and keep on adding stuff to this unit.

 

 

Although I absolutely believe and respect your stated difficulties, I think it should be made clear that "glitches with sound issues" or "hesitating while scrolling" are not problems that were introduced with the 2.30 update nor are they widespread bugs at all.

 

You should log a ticket with Line 6 ASAP. Best support around.

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The glitches and sound issues and scrolling hesitation were from previous updates.

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Also just reading about the latest 2.30 problems when people have downloaded and installed it can be found very easily.

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I can't say I've seen a lot issues with the 2.30 firmware... There are few known bugs, as with any firmware, but nothing major from what I've seen. Often times people have issues that are just coincidental to a new firmware installation that don't really have anything to do with the update itself.

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Although I absolutely believe and respect your stated difficulties, I think it should be made clear that "glitches with sound issues" or "hesitating while scrolling" are not problems that were introduced with the 2.30 update nor are they widespread bugs at all.

 

You should log a ticket with Line 6 ASAP. Best support around.

I concur. You may have a hardware issue that Line 6 will need to know about. 

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I talk to the Line 6 customer service today. I told him about the problems I was having. I also ask him when was my Helix was made because I wanted to make sure that I had every update that I needed. When he told me and I told him about every firmware update that I did he said that everything looked fine from there but he did tell me to make sure I go ahead and reset it. So this time when I reset which I usually do hold the 9 and 10 button down I held it for about 20 seconds until I got the second message on the screen and let it go and the reset seems to be working. The only thing is that the preset button when I turn it to the right one click it's supposed to change the preset no problem, but every once in a while I'll turn it and it won't change the preset. It's like when I turn it too fast and automatically changes real fast but when I turn it slow sometimes it doesn't change it all. I emailed him back and told him about the problem. It's not a big deal since I'm going to use in the foot switches, but I just see if this was a normal thing or was it something that had to be changed out or whatever has to be done to resolve this issue.

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I own both, really hard to decide on which one to keep. Once you load up a few custom IR's, the tonal difference between these 2 gets very narrow.   The Helix tends to have a slightly more scooped tone along with a little bit brightness (Easily rectified with some minimal eq-ing)..AX8 sounds a bit more compressed and darker (I end up brightening up a smidge).  UI on the Helix as we all know is so good that it is a blast just to get in there and tweek, where as the AX8 (without AxeEdit) is a little bit more challenging (Just different). I feel the AX8 has a slightly more 3D feel to it, but this is ONLY noticeable when A-Bing side by side..Inside of 1-2 minutes of playing, both are SUPER inspiring and sound really really good.. Had a few friends (Guitar player tone snobs LOL) come over and play thru and listen... ALL of us came away with the same conclusion...bot are awesome and would be beyond stoked inspired, etc to have either...Helix 2.53 awesomesauce!!  

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