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willjrock

Will line 6 continue to improve modeling

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For the 1300-1500 street price of the Helix floorboard, don't think anyone should expect unlimited free upgrades for the life of their unit....that's just not realistic IMO.  If Line 6 upgrades this unit for a year, maybe two, then charges their normally nominal amounts for amp/effects packs, I'll buy them all day long.  It costs a LOT of money to maintain a large IT shop, I'll show you my books if you don't believe it, so Line 6 isn't gong to be able to support freebies forever on nothing but the back of new Helix sales.  I WANT long term support/upgrades and am willing to pay a reasonable amount to get it.  If the price moves beyond what I consider reasonable,then I'll keep what I've got and still be a happy camper....

Exactly this. Free for a while, then I'd pay some reasonable amount for upgrades or expansion packs, and stop if it doesn't seem worth it any more.

 

This is the same as with ITB software. I paid for the Amplitube 4 upgrade, and the Mesa pack, which weren't as cheap as I would have liked, but were so totally worth it to me. The AT Mesas, and AT itself too, kind of really changed my life. Playing through them just feels like me, simple as that. Wouldn't be looking at Helix today if it wasn't for how awesomely great sounding and organic feeling that stuff can be, and with all those options. (OTOH, I'd so love that as an actual amp, probably wouldn't be looking at Helix if it existed and wasn't out of reach money-wise.)

 

It's in all of our best interest that L6 finds a business model that lets them support and evolve this great box over a long period of time. If they need to charge for that, it's not unreasonably costly, and still a good choice amongst the existing alternatives I "can afford", I'm in.

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One thing on "free" amp updates going forward. It's not just to make the existing customers happy. That kind of thing attracts new customers. Jus' sayin'...

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Not a Fractal user, so do they still provide free upgrades for all their older units or at a certain point does the older gear no longer run the newer engine releases?  

They, like every other company I know of at some point drops the software support and moves on to a bigger and better and newer thing. The last Standard and Ultra firmware update was May 9th, 2011. http://www.fractalaudio.com/legacy.php

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They, like every other company I know of at some point drops the software support and moves on to a bigger and better and newer thing. The last Standard and Ultra firmware update was May 9th, 2011. http://www.fractalaudio.com/legacy.php

 

So they support until obsolescence....on their high ticket units they can probably do what they've been doing with support, on these lower cost units I doubt they will be able to continue with the same business model or the units will just have a shorter time till moved to the obsolescence category....

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One thing on "free" amp updates going forward. It's not just to make the existing customers happy. That kind of thing attracts new customers. Jus' sayin'...

Thats exactly what i was thinking...if i havent already said it. The better helix is, the more people that are going to want it. IMO there is really nothing to change about the hardware. It could exist as is forever. The only thing that *needs* to change is that the modeling stays current. Though i dont expect everything for free, Us "early supporters" should see some benefit from Helix's growth, and we already have as per the firmware updates.

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So they support until obsolescence....on their high ticket units they can probably do what they've been doing with support, on these lower cost units I doubt they will be able to continue with the same business model or the units will just have a shorter time till moved to the obsolescence category....

The Standard, and then the Ultra were their "Flagship" models. Then they came out with the AXE FX II, the II XL, and finally the II XL+. 

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One thing on "free" amp updates going forward. It's not just to make the existing customers happy. That kind of thing attracts new customers. Jus' sayin'...

 

Yes, extras do attract new customers, however they cost lots of money to develop and at a certain point those new customers can't support the cost of development with everyone else getting freebies off of those sales.....the Helix is the hottest thing on the street, for now, but at some point it won't be due to advancements or competition building the next better mouse trap....a couple of years of freebies is probably realistic, past that I'd expect to be paying something for the cost of new amps, effects, etc.  That's not to say Line 6 shouldn't continue to fix bugs as they arise so long as the Helix is in active unit sales....

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The Standard, and then the Ultra were their "Flagship" models. Then they came out with the AXE FX II, the II XL, and finally the II XL+. 

And believe the FX II variations have been out for quite a while now....so when the FX III hits the streets my guess is upgrades for the FX II stop and Fractal continues forward building better and better rigs that get upgrades and you either have to buy up for thousands of dollars or be happy with the FX II you have as it is......now the AX8 isn't a flagship model, and the margins on that unit are probably smaller, so the business model may need to change to support it long term or it's life span is going to have to be shortened...

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And believe the FX II variations have been out for quite a while now....so when the FX III hits the streets my guess is upgrades for the FX II stop and Fractal continues forward building better and better rigs that get upgrades and you either have to buy up for thousands of dollars or be happy with the FX II you have as it is......now the AX8 isn't a flagship model, and the margins on that unit are probably smaller, so the business model may need to change to support it long term or it's life span is going to have to be shortened...

This is correct, as it was for many items and it follows what Ive been saying. Im guessing the AX8 ( and the Axe FX II) will receive updates for 3, maybe 4 years max. Then the AX-10 and the Line 6 Zelix AMP will arrive and the original Helix (like the Vetta) will at some point not get any more love software wise. In other words Don't expect updates forever on anything.

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I don't see how that makes any difference. It's not like they released a HD500 for $1500, they made something way better and priced it to match... The margins are probably in the same ballpark.

 

I think the point was valid. I'd bet margins are much higher, just that Helix has a lot higher development cost to be amortized.

 

I'm crossing my fingers that Line 6 strategy was to test the market with a high-end product that would be priced high enough to support a longer lifetime with improvements over time. Helix is a great platform, but seems to be missing too many important features to realize its potential.

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I was thinking long term for helix. If they get up a big selection of amps and fx's, I can only see that helping them sale more units for this and the next gen board.

 

I just checked out the fractal webpage for the 1st time and it does seem updates are free but fractal charges for extra cab ir's but amps and fx's seem to be free.

 

Ax8 is $100 cheaper than the helix. But does not have a expression pedal on it. So let's call it even on price.

 

I'm not saying line 6 should update the helix forever, only keep it going while hardware is still up to par.

 

Or would everyone want the next gen to run new ir's so we can play the waiting game on the favorite amps we want? I for one don't want that.

 

All of you that think line 6 needs to be paid for updates......just start donating money right now to them so you can feel better.

I'm looking at this from a different point of view on that fractal has answered the helix on price point, now helix should match them or at least try on amp/ fx's ir's.

 

But this is a lot of bs as line 6 hasn't told us either way what the plans are.

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But this is a lot of bs as line 6 hasn't told us either way what the plans are.

 And they never will judging by decades of past practice, rightfully so. 

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I was thinking long term for helix. If they get up a big selection of amps and fx's, I can only see that helping them sale more units for this and the next gen board.

 

I just checked out the fractal webpage for the 1st time and it does seem updates are free but fractal charges for extra cab ir's but amps and fx's seem to be free.

 

Ax8 is $100 cheaper than the helix. But does not have a expression pedal on it. So let's call it even on price.

 

I'm not saying line 6 should update the helix forever, only keep it going while hardware is still up to par.

 

Or would everyone want the next gen to run new ir's so we can play the waiting game on the favorite amps we want? I for one don't want that.

 

All of you that think line 6 needs to be paid for updates......just start donating money right now to them so you can feel better.

I'm looking at this from a different point of view on that fractal has answered the helix on price point, now helix should match them or at least try on amp/ fx's ir's.

 

But this is a lot of bs as line 6 hasn't told us either way what the plans are.

 

Does Fractal announce its plans ahead of time? I haven't really spent time on their forums, but I don't suspect they've announced their road map, either. People assume they will continue to head a certain direction, but I suspect that like any business, future plans are always contingent upon what happens now. It could be that there are multiple different roadmaps laid out and that sales and customer feedback determine where a product ends up. I think even beyond legal or ethical things, the simplest reason companies don't announce their future plans is that they know there's always a chance things will change. In the end, it gives them more flexibility to not be tied to a certain path. I actually know for a fact that this has happened with the Helix already. In the end, I think customers will be happier for it.

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I think the point was valid. I'd bet margins are much higher, just that Helix has a lot higher development cost to be amortized.

 

I'm crossing my fingers that Line 6 strategy was to test the market with a high-end product that would be priced high enough to support a longer lifetime with improvements over time. Helix is a great platform, but seems to be missing too many important features to realize its potential.

 

Your logic seems odd to me....so if you buy a car that is "missing too many important features" do you expect the manufacture just to give those features to you for zip down the road or do you get what you got when you bought it?  Not sure what important features Helix is actually missing.  It would be NICE if it had more amps and effects but that isn't a must for the Helix to do what it already does very well.....you seem to be equating WANTS to NEEDS more than anything else....if the Helix didn't meet your needs then you should have purchased a unit that did.  Why do you think ANY product you purchase should come with years worth of upgrades at no cost?  Can't really think of anything I've ever purchased that came with that kind of string to the manufacture and I don't expect it from Line 6 either....IF they provide additional features with new amps and effects, I'm tickled, but outside of software bug fixes I don't expect anything other than what they sold me when I bought the Helix, and which I'm very satisfied with....

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XT Live came out... I bought it and paid for all the amp model packs without blinking an eye...... X3 Live came out.... got all the amp models in it with initial purchase....very cool! Bought the HD 500X.... paid for all the amp model packs..... no problem or issue here. I will be happy either way for the helix...... as for updates, I still use my XT Live, X3 Live, HD 500X, M13, The first Variax guitar, Tone Port with POD Farm Premium 2, Pocket POD and the UX8...... all still work fine without a need for updates...... It's always like Christmas when Line 6 does a major firmware update and throw us some extra amps and/or effects..... 

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Does Fractal announce its plans ahead of time? I haven't really spent time on their forums, but I don't suspect they've announced their road map, either. 

Even when expecting something soon, I never knew exactly when it would drop at Fractal Audio, or Kemper. Ive never known when Line-6 was gonna drop an update either. Im just happy when it arrives  :)

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the main reason I purchased my Helix was, first of all I Know Line6 very well and trust/like-a-lot his tone quality. On the other hand The MOST important thing I need from the helix are the crystal clear tones I can get without the amp/cab/mic models, being so obsessive with the pure tone I get from my strongly modified guitars for this purpose: the clean tone to alter with whatever effect

 

having what I need for the three basic tones I use to play, I have a crunch 70's tone from a tube orange TH30 head and a hand made pine cab with greenbacks(the originals)

 

High Gain tone from three Randall solid state amps modified and paired with tons of celestion speakers to choose

 

And this crystal clear I get from very dedicated guitars(all modified:paint hardware electronics) and a very dedicated route of eq's/preamps before and after(even thru send-return) ready to make shine all those psychodellic effects from any pedalboard choice/trademark. Line6 Helix has been the freakin' winner!!!

 

so... If I'm thinking in Helix as one in all unit that would be impossible, 'cuz I need so many things before and after this magnificent peace of art of gear

 

however, I really would like Line6 to make more high gain models similar to the old Spinal Puppeter in the PODxt family; I can barely imagine how great it would be hearing a liones' roar from a dedicated tone in the new Helix road sounding close or better than this classical High-Compressed-Gain distorted "amp"

 

so, yes, I really would like to get more High Gain tones from Line6 Helix, but I may be combining as well with other peaces of gear

 

I'm beggin' LINE6, please! hear my prayers! get us with more smashing High Gain tones

 

thanx for readin'

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Not a Fractal user, so do they still provide free upgrades for all their older units or at a certain point does the older gear no longer run the newer engine releases?  

I don't think they ever stop updating a product until the hardware simply can no longer handle the processing.  At that point that hardware remains on it's last firmware revision while everything else jumps forward.  They def still release minor updates to the older stuff like bug fixes though - but I was referring to improvements.

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Remember a company is always thinking about its strategic vision.  That's where are we 5 years from now?  So, if they've released Helix - that vision is realized.  You better believe though if they've let that one out of the bag - something else is in the wing.

 

For the next few years they'll probably discuss and design the next big thing - protypes in about 3 years - and release as soon as they can after that.

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